Cross-Bench Life Peer and Patron of Humanists UK
Lord Joffe’s career spans the legal and financial services, and the health and voluntary sectors. He began as a Human Rights lawyer in South Africa, where he defended President Nelson Mandela and President Jacob Zuma amongst others, and subsequently moved to the UK, where he was a Founder Director and then Deputy Chairman of Allied Dunbar Assurance. He chaired the Swindon and Marlborough Health Authority and was a member of The Royal Commission on the Care of the Elderly. In the voluntary sector he was a Trustee of Oxfam for 18 years including 5 years as Chair until November 2001.
He was or is a Trustee of a range of other charities including Action for Development and Disability, International Alert, the Smith Institute, the Legal Assistance Trust for South Africa, the Canon Collins Trust and Management Accounting for NGOs (MANGO), and the Joffe Charitable Trust. He was also a member of the Steering Committee which founded the Per Cent Club, and from 1997 to 1998 was Special Advisor to the South African Minister of Transport. He was Chair of the Giving Campaign from 2001 to 2004.
He was raised to the Peerage in 2000, and is probably best known to humanists for introducing the Patient Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords in 2003, followed by the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill in 2004 and subsequent Bills. He was a member of the Select Committee appointed to consider the 2004 Bill. He retired from the House of Lords in March 2015.
More about his political career at They Work For You